Feeds

Liquid water thrives beneath Mars surface - NASA

'Squirting Gun'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

NASA today unleashed its "squirting gun" by making bold claims about the presence of very liquid, very flowing water on Mars.

Photographs taken over the past seven years reveal changes in Mars' landscape that seem to indicate the presence of an underground water supply. The subsurface "water" has crept up to feed two gullies clearly visibly in the Mars pictures. While NASA has already discussed the presence of ice and water vapor in the past, it is particularly thrilled about the prospect of liquid water given that it could foster microbial life.

Scientists have long pointed to evidence such as vast channels on Mars that water once flowed on the planet. Now, however, it seems that liquid water may have been on the move in just the last few years and even today.

"We have had this story of ancient water on Mars," said Ken Edgett, a scientist with Malin Space Science Systems, during a press conference. "Today, we are talking about liquid water that is present on Mars right now.

"You have all heard of a smoking gun. (This) is a squirting gun."

You'll find NASA's images here.

As with most of NASA's squirting guns, there's little actual proof that the liquid in question is water beyond observations made by scientists. The space agency could end up sending a rover to explore the site in question or may use other probes to try and assess the chemical composition of the area for more proof of liquid water.

NASA believes that the subsurface water freezes almost immediately after reaching the surface of Mars, creating ice or salty deposits.

"These fresh deposits suggest that at some places and times on present-day Mars, liquid water is emerging from beneath the ground and briefly flowing down the slopes," said Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems. "This possibility raises questions about how the water would stay melted below ground, how widespread it might be, and whether there's a below-ground wet habitat conducive to life. Future missions may provide the answers." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.